Marketplace Leaders

When to Use It

  • Use your elevator speech anytime you are networking. It can be more casual if you’re talking one-on-one and more formal if you’re introducing yourself in a group.
  • Use it in an interview. The elevator speech is shorthand for how you respond to questions such as, Tell me about yourself,” and “Why should I hire you?”
  • Use your elevator speech in cold calls to employers-for example, when leaving a voice-mail message for a hiring manager.

Note: A great elevator speech makes a lasting first impression, showcases your professionalism and allows you to position yourself.

Tips for Developing Your Speech

1. Most important, think in terms of the benefits your clients or customers derive from your services. People are more interested in how you can help them.

2. Write out your speech if that helps, then practice without reading or memorizing it. Aim for spontaneity allowing your speech to go off your tongue with ease.

3. Practice with friends or family, or in front of a mirror. Answer these questions: Do you sound confident? Sincere? Is it engaging? Tweak accordingly. Remember you are going for a hook.

4. If appropriate ask for actions, such as asking for a business card or an interview appointment.

Key Elements

Who are You?

What do you do best?

How have you made an impact?

What sets you apart from the competition?

What are you seeking?

The Listener’s unspoken question is: “Why should I do Business with you?”

Again, I reiterate confidence: Here is a great example:

Harry Truman, a great president during his bid for presidency in 1948 did not seem to have a chance to win against Thomas Dewey. During the campaign his confidence was seen when Truman asked a man in the crowd how he intended to vote. “Mr. Truman I would not vote for you if you were the last man on the ballot.” Truman turned to an aide and said “Put him down as doubtful.” “Great leaders are confident” Let Me Know How This Works For You, Coach Ouida

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